How big is Smoothie King stadium?

Smoothie King Center, formerly known as New Orleans Arena, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is located in the city’s Central Business District and has a seating capacity of 18,500 for concerts and 17,805 for basketball games. The arena opened in 1999 and is the home of the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association (NBA). It also hosts college basketball games, concerts, and other events.

What is the seating capacity of Smoothie King Center?

Smoothie King Center has a maximum seating capacity of 18,500 for concerts. For New Orleans Pelicans basketball games, the seating capacity is slightly lower at 17,805. This includes 16,867 fixed seats and 938 club seats.

Here is a breakdown of the seating capacity by area:

  • Lower bowl – 10,249 seats
  • Club level – 1,886 seats
  • Upper bowl – 5,670 seats
  • Suites – 30 luxury suites with a total of 750 seats

When configured for basketball, there are also over 2,000 spots available for standing room only tickets. So the total basketball capacity can exceed 20,000 with standing room spots filled.

How many courtside seats are there?

There are 122 courtside seats at Smoothie King Center for Pelicans games. These coveted seats sit directly beside the basketball court and provide fans with an up-close view of the action. Courtside seats are typically reserved for celebrities, politicians, business executives, and other VIPs willing to pay top dollar.

The courtside seats are arranged in two rows along the sideline with 61 seats on each side of the court. They are considered some of the best seats in the arena.

What are the dimensions of the basketball court?

The basketball court at Smoothie King Center measures 50 feet wide by 94 feet long, which are the standard dimensions for a professional NBA court. There is a 3 foot wide boundary around the court known as the baseline. So the full dimensions from baseline to baseline are 56 feet by 100 feet.

The basketball hoops are mounted 10 feet above the court. The three-point arc is 23 feet 9 inches at the top of the key and 22 feet in the corners. All of these specifications follow NBA regulations.

How many luxury suites are there?

There are 30 luxury suites located on the club level at Smoothie King Center. The suites accommodate between 12 and 24 guests each and feature premium amenities:

  • Private entrances
  • Luxury lounge seating
  • Upscale finishes and décor
  • Premium in-suite catering
  • Wet bars
  • Individual climate controls

The luxury suites provide an exclusive experience with premium views of the arena bowl. Suite prices typically range from $85,000 to $300,000 per season depending on the location and capacity.

What types of premium seating are available?

In addition to luxury suites, Smoothie King Center offers several types of premium seating options:

Club Seats

There are 938 club seats located in the club level between the lower and upper bowls. Club seats offer cushioned seats with extra legroom, access to the Bulls and Pelicans Club, inclusive food and drinks, and private entrances.

Loge Boxes

Loge boxes are premium sections of club seats positioned overlooking the lower bowl. They accommodates groups of 4-6 people and include VIP amenities and services.

Courtside Seats

As mentioned previously, there are 122 courtside seats located immediately beside the basketball court. These provide the ultimate viewing experience just feet from the action.

How many elevators and escalators are in the arena?

Smoothie King Center has 31 elevators and 4 escalators to transport fans between the different levels of the arena. Here is a breakdown:

  • 4 main passenger elevators
  • 2 service elevators
  • 4 parking garage elevators
  • 21 luxury suite elevators
  • 4 escalators connecting the main concourse to the upper level

The elevators and escalators help move the large crowds of people attending events in an efficient manner. The suite elevators provide direct private access to the luxury suites from dedicated parking areas.

How many restaurants and concession stands are there?

There are 25 food and beverage locations throughout Smoothie King Center consisting of restaurants, bars, lounges, and concession stands. Here is an overview:


  • Champions Club – Upscale sports bar with seating for 260.
  • Smoothie King Club – Casual club area with views of the arena.
  • LA Lower Bowl Club – Exclusive club with premium views of lower bowl.


  • Crown Royal Bourbon Bar – Bourbon tastings and cocktails.
  • Bud Light Brew House – Bar with wide selection of beers.

Concession Stands

  • 10 main concession stands serving typical arena fare like hot dogs, nachos, pretzels, etc.
  • 8 portable concession stands throughout the concourses.

There are also numerous bars and kiosks selling beer, wine, and spirits throughout the arena.

How many bathrooms are in Smoothie King Center?

There are approximately 600 bathroom fixtures located in men’s and women’s restrooms throughout Smoothie King Center. This includes:

  • Lower level – 187 fixtures in men’s rooms and 344 in women’s rooms
  • Club level – 40 fixtures in men’s rooms and 61 in women’s rooms
  • Upper level – 35 fixtures in men’s rooms and 68 in women’s rooms

In total, that equates to about 262 fixtures in the men’s restrooms and 473 in the women’s restrooms. The higher number of women’s fixtures accounts for longer lines typically seen in female restrooms.

There are ample restrooms located on each level to accommodate large crowds. Additional portable restrooms can be brought in for major concerts or sellout events if needed.

How many parking spaces are available at the arena?

Smoothie King Center has approximately 5,800 parking spaces available in garages and lots surrounding the arena. This includes:

  • 3 parking garages with around 4,200 total spaces
  • 4 surface parking lots with around 1,600 total spaces

The parking garages provide covered parking connected directly to the arena for easy entry. Lot parking requires short walks outside to access arena entrances.

There is parking available for standard vehicles, oversized vehicles, buses, limos, and other transportation. Parking fees vary based on the location and event.

Does the arena have wheelchair and ADA accessible seating?

Yes, Smoothie King Center is fully accessible and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Features for guests with disabilities include:

  • Accessible seating areas throughout the arena with space for wheelchairs
  • Elevators to access all levels
  • Accessible restrooms and concessions
  • Assistive listening devices available

Wheelchair and companion seating are available at various ticket price points. Guests can request accessible seating when purchasing tickets.

What is the typical security screening process?

All guests entering Smoothie King Center are required to pass through metal detectors and have bags inspected prior to entering. The standard security screening process is:

  1. Present mobile or paper ticket to be scanned
  2. Walk through metal detector screening
  3. Bags are visually inspected and may be hand searched
  4. Prohibited items must be discarded in provided bins

Prohibited items include outside food and drinks, weapons, cameras with long lenses, selfie sticks, helmets, and other items deemed dangerous or disruptive. Bag restrictions may vary by event, with a clear bag policy often in effect.

All guests are subject to search for prohibited items and contraband at the discretion of arena security. Security personnel are present throughout the venue to provide a safe environment.

What notable events have been held at Smoothie King Center?

Here are some of the most notable events that have taken place at Smoothie King Center since it opened in 1999:

  • NCAA Men’s Final Four – Hosted the Final Four in 2012 and 2022
  • NBA All Star Game – Hosted the 2014 All Star Game and surrounding events
  • Concerts – Top performers including U2, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Paul McCartney, and many others
  • WWE WrestleMania – Hosted WrestleMania XXX in 2014
  • New Orleans Pelicans – Home arena of the NBA’s Pelicans since 2002
  • NCAA Basketball – Hosts men’s and women’s NCAA Tournament games
  • Boxing/MMA – Mega fights including Ali vs. Frazier III, multiple UFC events

The arena has played host to many more concerts, family shows, conventions, and private events since opening in 1999. With its prime location and modern amenities, Smoothie King Center continues to attract top draw events to New Orleans.

How has the arena changed names over time?

The arena has been known by several different names since first opening in 1999:

  • 1999 – 2014: New Orleans Arena
  • 2014 – 2019: Smoothie King Center
  • 2019 – 2020: New Orleans Arena
  • 2020 – present: Smoothie King Center

The original naming rights deal was with Smoothie King through 2014. After that expired, the building went back to being called New Orleans Arena for 5 years. Then in 2020, a new 10-year naming rights deal was struck bringing back the Smoothie King Center name.

Who are the anchor tenants of the arena?

The two anchor tenants of Smoothie King Center are:

New Orleans Pelicans

The NBA’s Pelicans have been the arena’s anchor sports tenant since relocating from Charlotte in 2002. They play their home games at the arena and average over 14,000 fans per game.

New Orleans VooDoo

The New Orleans VooDoo were an Arena Football League team that played home games at the arena from 2004 to 2008 and again from 2011 to 2015 before ceasing operations.

The Pelicans are by far the biggest anchor tenant drawing around 700,000 fans to the arena each season for home games and other events.

Who owns and operates Smoothie King Center?

The arena is government owned by the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District (LSED). Operations and management of the arena is contracted to the New Orleans Pelicans and Saints through an operating agreement with the state.

The Pelicans oversee arena operations, third party bookings, ticketing, security, vendor contracts, conversions, marketing partnerships, and more. AEG Facilities serves as a consultant to provide guidance on arena management best practices.

How does Smoothie King Center generate revenue?

Smoothie King Center utilizes several revenue sources to fund operations and maintenance:

  • Event revenue – Ticket sales, premium seating, venue rentals
  • Concessions – Food, beverage, and merchandise sales
  • Sponsorships – Naming rights, TV, promotional partners
  • Premium seating – Suites, club seats, loge boxes
  • Advertising – Signage, digital displays, programs
  • Parking and facility fees

Anchor tenants like the Pelicans provide guaranteed income. The arena also earns additional income by hosting concerts, family shows, NCAA tournaments, conventions, and other third party events.

How much did it cost to build Smoothie King Center?

The total original construction cost for Smoothie King Center was approximately $114 million. The arena was financed through $90 million in bond sales by the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District and a $24 million contribution from the NBA.

Adjusting for inflation to 2023 dollars, the initial construction cost would be around $183 million in today’s money.

While expensive, building a dedicated indoor arena has proven to be a sound investment for New Orleans attracting major sports and entertainment events.

How does Smoothie King Center benefit the city of New Orleans?

Smoothie King Center provides significant benefits to the city of New Orleans including:

  • Economic impact from events, estimated at $400+ million annually
  • Jobs for over 1,200 part-time and full-time employees
  • Showcases New Orleans to visitors at major events
  • Home for the NBA’s Pelicans franchise
  • Tax revenue generated from concessions, merchandise, parking
  • Brings big name concerts and shows to the city

Events at the arena attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to New Orleans each year. These visitors spend money at local hotels, restaurants, shops, and attractions. Having a proper indoor venue also allowed the city to host major events like NBA All Star and the Final Four.


In summary, Smoothie King Center is a state-of-the-art indoor arena with a maximum capacity of nearly 19,000 for concerts and 17,800 for Pelicans games. The $114 million facility opened in 1999 and has been the full-time home of the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans since 2002.

With premium amenities, anchor sports tenants, and an attractive market location, Smoothie King Center has established itself as a premier venue for major sports and entertainment events in New Orleans. It generates hundreds of millions in annual economic impact for the city.

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